LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College women's basketball team held off rival Bowdoin College 64-59 Thursday night, spoiling the return to Alumni Gym of Bates alumna and first-year Bowdoin head coach Adrienne Shibles '91. The Polar Bears' seven-game winning streak came to an end with the loss.
Bates built a lead as high as 20, at 47-27, with 16:28 to go, but the Polar Bears clawed back to within four, at 63-59 with 11 seconds left in the game.
Senior Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.) scored 21 points with 7 rebounds for the Bobcats (10-3), while junior Lauren Yanofsky (Belmont, Mass.) added 17 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Katie Bergeron led the Polar Bears (10-3) with 20 points, and Caitlin Hynes chipped in with 10.
Yanofsky fueled a superior first half by the Bobcats, with 13 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocked shots, and Bates went into halftime with a 38-23 lead, having held Bowdoin to 27.8 percent shooting, including 1-10 from behind the arc.
Beckwith led off the second half with a rare four-point play to bump the lead to 19, and a three-pointer by first-year Kristen Finn (Winthrop, Mass.) at 16:28 opened it up to 47-27. Bowdoin responded with a 10-0 run, as Bergeron converted an old-fashioned three-point play, followed it with a three-pointer, and followed a layup by Colleen Sweeney with a steal and layup of her own. Beckwith stemmed the bleeding with a three-point play to bump the lead back to 13 (50-37) with 12:57 left.
Bates held Bowdoin at bay for the next 6 minutes, but Bergeron fueled a 7-1 mini-run with a layup and a three to cut the lead to 57-51 with 3:48 left. Bates first-year Kelsey Flaherty (South Portland, Maine) answered with a baseline jumper and two foul shots, and Beckwith hit two more foul shots to make it 63-52 with 1:17 to go. But Bowdoin had one more run in store, starting with a three-pointer by Maria Noucas and followed by pairs of free throws by Hynes and Ellery Gould, cutting it to 63-59 with 11 seconds left. Flaherty hit one more foul shot with 8 ticks left for the final score.
Bowdoin enjoyed a 34-20 edge in points in the paint and a 15-5 advantage in second-chance points, while the Bates bench outscored Bowdoin's 20-11.
Bates plays host to Tufts University in a non-conference matchup on Saturday at 2 p.m.; Bowdoin will play at Emmanuel Saturday at 1 p.m.